Burning Question: Can Just Anyone Hire Gisele Bundchen?

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Gisele Bundchen (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Q: The newly released list of the world's top-paid models has us wondering: If I had enough money, could I hire Gisele Bundchen for a photo shoot? Do you have to be a "somebody" to hire one of these supermodels, even for a day?

A: First of all, Gisele Bundchen is not a supermodel. Well, OK. She is, but most of today's popular clotheshorses can not even compare with the giants of the 1990s, when models would publicly brag about how much they made just for rolling out of bed and lighting up a cigarette.

Per Forbes, the Miranda Kerrs and Giseles and Chanel Imans do make fine money — $42 million in the past year, in Bundchen's case, $7.2 million for Kerr. But that's nothing compared with "Back in the Day," when even fledgling angels feathered their wings with dollar bills.

"New girls use to make to make on average $10,000, $20,000, $25,000 a day," says Cory Bautista, agency director for New York Model Management. "And that still happens, but now you have to prove yourself before you can get to that level. Now, sometimes the rate is as low as $1,500.

"When it comes to a new girl, I don't see a rate higher than $15,000 for a new face."

So does that mean you can plunk down as little as that and snap away at the next Gisele?

No. And don't even think about asking for Bundchen, either — not even if you're living on your own customized island in Dubai.

"I wouldn't do that for any Joe Schmoe coming off the street, unless we've really cleared them," Bautista notes. "It's not only about the money. It's about who the client is for the model. We want to protect our models.

"Usually when there is a brand like Prada or another high-end client, we don't need to do that background check because their PR people have done their jobs their jobs and already built that necessary reputation."

So ... not even for eighty bazillion trillion dollars could I hire Bundchen for a photo for my French-style salon?

"We're not a pimp service," Bautista says. "Those types of projects are really something that a lesser agency would do. If the agency is reputable, they are not going to allow anything like that to happen for any kind of money."

The exception, of course, comes if you happen to be a photographer. And not just an amateur — say Terry Richardson, who photographs celebrities all the time in his studio.

"Usually those photographers are repped by an agency as well," Bautista explains.

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